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Welsh National Opera works with Glyndŵr University students

21 February 2012

The Welsh National Youth Opera were on the lookout for future opera stars when they hosted a Sweeney Todd-themed workshop with students from Glyndŵr University.

Ruth Evans, Welsh National Opera (WNO) MAX Producer for North Wales, and Dafydd Hall Williams, Welsh National Youth Opera (WNYO) assistant director, led the event with theatre, television and performance students at the Catrin Finch Centre, Wrexham.

The group were given a masterclass in skills for the stage, combining singing, acting and performance activities.

Elen Mai Nefydd, senior lecturer in theatre, television and performance at Glyndŵr University, said: “The students loved the whole day. We’re keen to connect them with the performing arts industry in Wales as much as we can and this was a great opportunity for them to work with professionals from Welsh National Opera, a world-renowned organisation.

“Even though we don’t study opera as such as part of their degree the performance skills which they’ll have developed from the workshop are directly relevant and transferable to any career in the performing arts, including theatre and TV.”

The WNYO’s work at Glyndŵr University was part of a three-year campaign by WNO to build a greater presence in north Wales – including working with schools, universities and in Wrexham town centre.

Its next major event is a week-long musical theatre workshop for young people at the Stiwt Theatre, Rhos, from 10 – 15 April.

Ruth, an Oxford graduate originally from Ruthin, said: “Everyone in WNO is professional and we want to show people around Wrexham and north Wales that they can aspire to work for an opera company.

“The students at Glyndŵr University are exactly the type of people we want to get involved in youth opera in Wales and it was a privilege to spend a day with them at this wonderful performing arts centre which they’ve now got access to.

“Dafydd has just finished directing his first opera so it was great to have him with us for the day to pass on his skills and experience to the students.”

  • The WNYO performance skills workshop takes place from 10am-6pm daily between Tuesday 10 and Sunday 15 April 2012 at the Stiwt Theatre, Rhos. The event is open to 16-23 year olds with a passion for performing and will include training in musical theatre and opera skills, including vocal exercises and acting through song and performance, delivered by theatre professionals from the WNO. Sweeney Todd will provide the theme for the week. 40 spaces are available, priced £20 per person. A limited number of bursaries are also available. Bookings and enquiries can be made by contacting Paula Scott at or on 029 2063 5111. Deadline for registration is 12 March 2012. For more information about the WNYO visit
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